During March, which is both Mercy Month and Women’s History Month, the Women of Mercy series will profile Sisters of Mercy, prominent historical figures, and Mercyhurst graduates. Here are the most recent women:
Mother Frances Warde started her journey alongside Mother Catherine McAuley in Dublin, Ireland. In 1843, two years after Catherine McAuley’s death, Frances Warde led six young Sisters of Mercy to the United States and arrived in Pittsburgh, Pa. Warde’s efforts in the United States extended beyond the initial founding of the convent and Mercy Hospital (now UPMC-Mercy) there. The communities she established extended from Maine to California. Her biographer believes that Frances Warde personally founded more convents, schools, hospitals and places for social welfare than any other religious leader in the western world. Warde freshman residence hall and the Warde Townhouses are both named in honor of this Mercy pioneer.
Frances Perkins (1882-1965) was the first woman to hold a United States cabinet position. Appointed by Franklin Roosevelt, she served as Secretary of Labor and played a key role in writing New Deal legislation, including minimum wage laws. Her most important contribution came in 1934 when, as chairwoman of the President’s Committee on Economic Security, she was involved in all aspects of the reports and hearings that ultimately resulted in the Social Security Act of 1935.
“I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common working people.” – Frances Perkins